Last week I posted some video a #NoDAPL activist had taken of a MSNBC news team recording a segment from the Oceti Sakowin protest camp in south central North Dakota.
When I originally posted the video I couldn’t find where it had actually been broadcast. I thought that perhaps Perry, having been told that his report was inaccurate, decided not to use it. Turns out I was wrong. The utterly laughable segment really did air.
The video I originally posted showed reporter Cal Perry recording multiple takes of a broadcast in which he talked about a spring buffalo hunt which would have Native Americans floating the carcasses down the Missouri River.
“The tribes here go hunting for buffalo and they go hunting north of the river,” Perry said in one take. “Because the buffalo is so heavy, they kill it and flow it down here and that’s of course, what they feed their families with. What happens when we float that buffalo down the river and the river is full of oil?”
The original YouTube upload of the incident has since been taken down, but I archived a copy expecting that might happen:
After Perry finished with the takes, the activist watching told him said his report was inaccurate.
The story is “not gonna be good for the locals but for the mainstream it’ll be alright,” he tells the film crew, adding that Perry’s notions about Indians hunting buffalo is “romanticized.” One member of Perry’s team, perhaps Perry himself, was surprised to learn from the activist that Native Americans don’t survive on buffalo hunts any more and go to grocery stores like regular Americans.
I confirmed this with North Dakota Indian Affairs Commissioner Scott Davis. “Our tribe highly regulates our buffalo herd and hunts,” ND Indian Affairs Davis, who is a member of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, told me. “As a tribal member you’d be lucky if you got a tag or opportunity to harvest a buffalo. They only time we harvest buffalo is during our pow wows or ceremonies. Special occasions only.”
I asked Davis about floating the buffalo down the river. “I’ve never heard of that,” he told me.
Anyway, you’d think after Perry was told that his report wasn’t based on fact that he would have fixed the error. But he didn’t. It was used on air on January 26 and was seen by some 1.2 million people according to this media clipping service.
You can watch the clip that aired at the link.
You’d think, after all the folderol about “fake news” in the mainstream media, that the stalwarts of journalism at MSNBC would be a bit more careful. I guess not.